Is a Single-Wheel Track Drive Effective for a Ford Model A Snowmobile?

In summary, this setup looks like it is more effective than plain tires on hard surfaces, but it might not be as effective on black ice.
  • #1
Mgt3
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TL;DR Summary
Someone appears to have wrapped track pieces around the wheel of a Model A Ford and made a snowmobile. Is this actually effective?
Attached are photos of a Ford Model A snowmobile. The owner wrapped track pieces around the rear wheels, but it does not appear to have a bogie or other track drive system. Does this setup look like it is really effective as a tracked machine?
 

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  • #2
Mgt3 said:
Does this setup look like it is really effective as a tracked machine?
Well, it's a heck of a lot more effective than plain tires, so what's your issue?
 
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  • #3
The engine might not be as strong as modern engines meaning it might get stuck in some circumstances but otherwise it looks awesome.
 
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  • #4
phinds said:
Well, it's a heck of a lot more effective than plain tires, so what's your issue?

I don't have an issue at all! I just want to build one for myself, and I'm trying to figure out if the tracks around the wheels still works like a traditional track system. That is all. :)
 
  • #5
Mgt3 said:
I don't have an issue at all! I just want to build one for myself, and I'm trying to figure out if the tracks around the wheels still works like a traditional track system. That is all. :)
As long as they are put on tightly enough so as to no slip they should.
 
  • #6
Mgt3 said:
I don't have an issue at all! I just want to build one for myself, and I'm trying to figure out if the tracks around the wheels still works like a traditional track system. That is all. :)
The obvious limitation with this vs a full track is contact area.
 
  • #9
Not really their idea and there are even more serious ones.
ster-forestry-png-favpng-Wn6k223yuQhQ2fgTyQvtny0wD.jpg
autolevadvanced2.jpg
 
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  • #10
Here, get one of these. . . . 😏



.
 
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  • #11
Mgt3 said:
Someone appears to have wrapped track pieces around the wheel of a Model A Ford and made a snowmobile. Is this actually effective?
... Does this setup look like it is really effective as a tracked machine?
That will depend on what you want it to do. Effective at what?

1. To increase traction on a surface that fills normal tyre tread, like snow on hard flat ice. Tire chains are more flexible and will cause less damage to the road tyre.

2. To get traction on black ice. Tyre studs will work better on hard ice since the very high point pressure crushes the ice.

3. By increasing the ground contact area, to prevent sinking up to the axles in deep mud or snow. Bulldozer like tracks, rubber tracks on a skid-steer, or a snowmobile belt, work better since they span between axles, so have a greater area, with a very much lower ground loading.

4. To increase the tyre contact patch, so more traction force is possible before the soil or snow immediately under the wheel shears, and the wheel bogs.

5. Providing protection to the tire from thorns, stakes, or from sharp spikes in the ground, such as cut or burnt bush roots. For that the track plates need to overlap like fish scales.
 
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  • #12
Having experience on a skid loader with steel tracks wrapped around each side I can tell you they're not a magic bullet. They look very similar to the tracks in post #9 but the rails do not have little studs sticking up. They never did, it's not an issue of being worn off. In snow they are awful. If the machine gets sideways on a hill it will slide all the way to the bottom. In soft swampy ground they are the real ticket. The tracks that span between the wheels help hold the machine up in soft ground. I hate taking them on and off. A custom made tool for stretching them on has helped but I still hate doing it.
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BTW, concerning protection from tire damage, they are more trouble than they are worth. If a person puts tracks like that on something I would recommend having the tires filled with foam.
 
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  • #13
Averagesupernova said:
BTW, concerning protection from tire damage, they are more trouble than they are worth. If a person puts tracks like that on something I would recommend having the tires filled with foam.
Where a bushfire has swept through sandy country, all the small bushes burn to the ground. Then the wind blows away surface sand which provides a bed of sharpened, and fire-hardened, short spikes that halt progress. Foam fill might help, but without plates, the tires are still destroyed by the ground spikes. There is also the 100 km before the spike beds and another 100 km after.
Different environments require different solutions.

Sliding sideways on hills, or icy road with camber, is always a problem with simple cross bars for grip. 'V' bars or chain nets tend to reduce side slip. Swamps tend to be flat.

Horses for courses.
 
  • #14
Baluncore said:
Foam fill might help, but without plates, the tires are still destroyed by the ground spikes.
So you're saying that the nails I've seen sticking out of my foam filled tires is my imagination? The foam effectively makes the tire into a hard rubber tire with give. The tire acts as if it is inflated with air but is not. I've used foam filled tires on other equipment which has tires that eventually wear to the point that there is foam showing through in many places. Seriously, if I had to remove tracks every time I need to fix an inflated tire it would not be worth having tracks on there. I don't know what kind of foam they use in NZ for such an application but it's apparently not what is used here in the USA.
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Baluncore said:
Swamps tend to be flat.
But soft swampy ground is not limited to flat swamps nor is does it provide the base that is good for sled runners.
 
  • #15
Averagesupernova said:
So you're saying that the nails I've seen sticking out of my foam filled tires is my imagination?
No. I am saying that maybe 200+ spikes in a tire after 1 km are sufficient to suggest that a foam fill will not help. There are situations outside your experience, so keep an open mind and try not to rule out the practice of others in situations you will never meet.

Averagesupernova said:
I don't know what kind of foam they use in NZ for such an application but it's apparently not what is used here in the USA.
I am also unaware of NZ practice.

Averagesupernova said:
But soft swampy ground is not limited to flat swamps nor is does it provide the base that is good for sled runners.
Then add those conditions to my inexhaustive list of relevant considerations for evaluation, but don't rule any unusual environment or technological solution out.

There cannot be only one solution for so many different problems.
 
  • #16
Baluncore said:
I am also unaware of NZ practice.
Then perhaps you shouldn't form an opinion about foam filled tires. I can tell you I've never had experience with foam in tires at road speeds. The foam I'm familiar with is in construction equipment. Googling turned up:
https://brannontire.com/foam-fill-stockton-ca
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Pretty much what I suspected. I wouldn't do it any sooner than I'd drive that converted old Model A at road speeds or any tire wrapped with what that Model A tire has at road speeds.
 
  • #17
Averagesupernova said:
Then perhaps you shouldn't form an opinion about foam filled tires.
I am in Australia.
 
  • #18
Baluncore said:
I am in Australia.
My bad, but that doesn't change anything. If you have specific experience, do tell.
 
  • #19
Averagesupernova said:
If you have specific experience, do tell.
My experience is that foam has it's place.

Every technology has it's strong and it's weak points. For example, with foam filled tires and variable loads, I cannot change the area of the contact patch by changing the internal tire pressure.

With so many different problem environments, and so many possible ways to solve them, I can't understand why you need to be judgmental and rule anything in or out.
 
  • #20
Averagesupernova said:
In soft swampy ground they are the real ticket.
They are not only about allowing the vehicle traverse in some difficult terrains: their secondary purpose is to limit the erosion.
m_lwf_boden_achten_viskoplastisch_gross_d16c85bcc6.jpg
 
  • #21
@Baluncore I wonder if you have ANY actual experience with foam filled tires. My original statement was that on a skid loader with tracks wrapped around the tires in a setup similar to a pic in post #9 tracks can be more trouble than they are worth without foam in the tires. It's way too much trouble to repair a tire from a puncture. Never did I say foam is a magic bullet in any tire anywhere. But I can tell you that they can still run with parts of the tire literally missing.
https://images.app.goo.gl/bmWd4QtwCT5Gdy539
 
  • #22
Averagesupernova said:
I wonder if you have ANY actual experience with foam filled tires.
I do, but I do not need them on my skid-steer loader since it is ballasted with tire sealant.
For your situation foam fill is obviously an excellent solution.
 
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  • #23
Baluncore said:
I do, but I do not need them on my skid-steer loader since it is ballasted with tire sealant.
For your situation foam fill is obviously an excellent solution.
And I'm assuming it doesn't have tracks. Putting foam in is an expensive way to go if not necessary. In my case I don't get into enough hardware to warrant foam on its own. But with tracks, I wouldn't have it any other way. Just too much trouble to fix a tire with tracks on.
 
  • #24
For anyone who's interested, here's a close-up:
KIMG1695.JPG
 
  • #25
Averagesupernova said:
For anyone who's interested, here's a close-up:View attachment 295300
Thank you for the picture! Here's what I do not understand (forgive me for sounding ignorant!) - the track wraps around the tire like a chain, but is its tread pattern anything resembling a track - because it still looks circular.
 
  • #26
Mgt3 said:
... the track wraps around the tire like a chain, but is its tread pattern anything resembling a track - because it still looks circular.
The one track wraps around two wheels on one side.
The part between the wheels looks like a track.
Look at the dark area in the bottom left corner of the picture.
 
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  • #27
Baluncore said:
The one track wraps around two wheels on one side.
The part between the wheels looks like a track.
Look at the dark area in the bottom left corner of the picture.

Ah, okay! Thanks. I didn't think it could be done with one wheel.
 

Related to Is a Single-Wheel Track Drive Effective for a Ford Model A Snowmobile?

1. What is a "Track Drive Around a Wheel"?

A "Track Drive Around a Wheel" is a type of locomotion mechanism that involves a continuous track wrapped around a wheel. This allows for smooth movement and increased traction on uneven surfaces.

2. How does a "Track Drive Around a Wheel" work?

The track is driven by a motor, which causes it to rotate around the wheel. This rotation propels the vehicle forward or backward, depending on the direction of the motor.

3. What are the advantages of using a "Track Drive Around a Wheel"?

One of the main advantages of this type of locomotion mechanism is its ability to navigate through rough or uneven terrain with ease. It also provides increased stability and traction compared to other types of wheels.

4. What are the applications of a "Track Drive Around a Wheel"?

"Track Drive Around a Wheel" is commonly used in vehicles such as tanks, bulldozers, and other heavy-duty machinery that need to operate on rough or soft terrain. It is also used in some robotic systems for increased mobility.

5. Are there any limitations to using a "Track Drive Around a Wheel"?

While "Track Drive Around a Wheel" has many advantages, it also has some limitations. It is not suitable for high-speed applications and can be less efficient on smooth surfaces. It also requires more maintenance compared to other types of wheels.

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